Letter: Canals need to be cleaned out and tax money should be available for this purpose

What are your neighbors talking about this week?

  • By
  • | 1:00 p.m. May 22, 2024
Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor
  • Palm Coast Observer
  • Opinion
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Money for dredging should be available

Dear Editor:

These canals need to be cleaned out. Erosion from unwalled land, grass illegally blown in canals by lawn cutters and tree cutters. The home owners in the C section pay the highest property tax to live on the canals. We pay taxes on the seawalls, docks, boat lifts and boat house roofs.

Over the last 20 years, 20-plus million dollars should be available for dredging. Not all areas need it. A report the city made in 2020 and 2022 states the city owns the canals and is responsible for their maintenance (see Editor's Note below).

Through our drinking water bill we pay the dredging of the fresh water canals. Also on the same billing is the swale charges which includes dredging the salt water canals. Never been done. Where is that money and the dock, seawall, boat lift and dock tax money going? 

We live on the canals and see every day what goes on with them. The city council members do not live on the canals. The one member who stated we should have an extra tax base to have the canals dredged only moved here to run for the council District 2 (seat) has no clue about the canals.

It's like the statement (City Chief of Staff) Jason (DeLorenzo) made that the people in the lower houses need to pay to fix the flooding from the higher houses. He previously held the role of Government Affairs Director for the Flagler Homebuilders Association for 10 years.

The District 2 Council member is also the one who tried to railroad the franchise fee through. With the amount of pork and baloney produced here Boar's Head could back their trucks up and fill them. Candidate Alan Lowe came up with a plan and documents that showed over a three-year period the areas that need dredging could be done for $7 million —  a method that has the dredged material piped to trucks on the street, filtered then clean water returned. This method does away with big barges and tug boat expenses. The Council never considered it.

Money was spent for Taylor Engineering, $400,000, to survey the canals. It was done at high tide and was very tainted. It did not show any of the problem areas. The owner would not discuss it with any of the C section residents.

Gary Kunnas

Palm Coast

Editor's note: The Observer reached out to both the Property Appraiser’s office and the City of Palm Coast about several statements in the above letter. Regarding the taxes on the canals, residents whose homes lie on the canals typically have higher property values and thus pay more in taxes, but do not pay any additional, separate taxes on their docks, boat lifts, or etc.

Upon reaching out to the city, communications representative Brittany Kershaw said the stormwater fee rate on the water bills does not include any fee for dredging the saltwater canals. Residents along the canals are responsible for the maintenance of their seawalls as they are owned by the homeowner.


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